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Work Permit Sweden: New System Explained

Work Permit Sweden: New System Explained

Starting January 29, 2024, the Migration Agency has implemented a revised approach to its operations. Instead of the previous certification system, the agency will now prioritise serving employers who seek to hire highly skilled individuals. This demands introducing a new method for categorising work permit applications based on occupation and industry. Additionally, applications deemed ready for a decision will be separated for quicker processing.

Application and processing time for work permit in Sweden

The identification and expedited processing of complete applications from highly qualified workers has been enhanced for efficiency. Despite these improvements, the requirements for obtaining a work permit remain unchanged. Applications from highly skilled workers will be processed within 30 days, while processing times for other applications are subject to relevant ordinances.

Highly qualified worker work permit Sweden

Highly qualified workers are defined according to the Swedish Standard Classification of Occupations (SSYK), which utilises a system of codes categorising individuals' occupations or tasks. These codes, namely SSYK Codes 1-3 (SSYK 2012), identify highly qualified workers based on the following occupational areas:

  • Managerial roles
  • Occupations necessitate advanced higher education qualifications.
  • Occupations with a requirement for higher education qualifications or their equivalents.

Different types of work permits in Sweden?

 Sweden has different work permits for various jobs and situations:

  • Standard Work Permit: Needs a job offer from Sweden that pays enough and is advertised in the EU/EEA.
  • ICT Permit: For company transfers to work in Sweden's branch as managers, specialists, or trainees.
  • Seasonal Work Permit: For temporary jobs in fields like farming or tourism, valid for six months.
  • Researcher and PhD Student Permit: With EU mobility for research or doctoral studies.
  • Athletes and Coaches Permit: For professional sportspeople working in Sweden.
  • Self-Employment Visa: For starting a business or freelancing in Sweden, showing experience and financial support.
  • EU Blue Card: Highly skilled workers with a degree, job contract, and meeting salary requirements.
  • Working Holiday Visa:encourages young individuals from specific nations to spend a year working and exploring Sweden.

Eligibility requirements for work permits under the new system

Under the new system, eligibility requirements for work permits in Sweden may include:

  • Employment Offer: Applicants must have a confirmed job offer from a Swedish employer.
  • Qualifications: Depending on the occupation, applicants may need to demonstrate relevant qualifications or experience. Highly qualified workers typically require advanced education or specialised skills.
  • Employer's Compliance: The employer must comply with relevant labour laws and regulations, including providing fair wages and working conditions.
  • Industry or Occupational Area: The specific requirements may vary based on the industry or occupational area. For example, particular sectors may have additional licensing or certification requirements.
  • Health Insurance: Applicants are often required to have health insurance coverage if they stay in Sweden.
  • Financial Support: Applicants may need to demonstrate sufficient financial means to support themselves and any accompanying family members during their time in Sweden.
  • Language Proficiency: Depending on the nature of the job and workplace requirements, proficiency in Swedish or English may be necessary.

What documents are required for a work permit application?

For a work permit application, you need:

  • A valid passport
  • Job offer letter
  • Salary proof and employment terms
  • Employer's details
  • Application fee

How does the new system affect employers and applicants?

The new system may affect employers and applicants in several ways:

  • Efficiency: The streamlined process may result in faster processing times for work permit applications, benefiting employers and applicants by reducing waiting periods.
  • Priority for Highly Qualified Workers: Employers seeking to recruit highly qualified workers may receive additional support and expedited processing under the new system, potentially making it easier to attract top talent.
  • Increased Competition: With a focus on prioritising highly qualified workers, employers may face increased competition for this talent pool. Conversely, applicants with highly sought-after skills may have more opportunities.
  • Improved Compliance: The new system may also lead to greater compliance with immigration regulations, as the emphasis on efficiency and clarity in processing could result in fewer errors or delays in application submissions


In conclusion, Sweden's Migration Agency has implemented a revised approach to prioritise highly skilled individuals in the work permit application process, aiming to increase with the goals of increasing productivity and satisfy the needs of different sectors.

The new system emphasises expedited processing for highly qualified workers while maintaining unchanged eligibility requirements. Additionally, start-ups receive extra support to recruit talent, underscoring Sweden's commitment to fostering innovation and economic growth.


What is the new working method for handling work permit cases in Sweden?

As of January 29, 2024, the Migration Agency officially starts the new working method. After removing the old certification system, the Migration Agency will serve employers recruiting highly qualified workers.

What are the eligibility requirements for work permits under the new system?

Eligibility requirements for work permits in Sweden may include - Employment Offer, Qualifications, Employer's Compliance, Industry or Occupational Area, Health Insurance, Financial Support and Language Proficiency.

How long does it take to process a work permit application under the new system?

Under Sweden's new system, processing times for work permit applications vary, taking up to 30 days for highly qualified workers, while processing times for other applications depend on factors like completeness and workload.

What are the costs of applying for a work permit under the new system?

The costs of applying for a work permit in Sweden under the new system vary depending on factors such as the type of permit and the applicant's nationality. 

Generally, fees range from SEK 2,000 to SEK 4,000. Additional costs may include fees for biometric residence permits and associated services.

What are the common reasons for work permit applications being rejected?

Work permit rejections often occur due to the following:

  • Incomplete applications
  • Invalid or expired passports
  • Insufficient salary offers
  • Lack of employer documentation
  • Job not advertised in the EU/EEA
  • Missing proof of qualifications or experience

Where can I find more information about work permits in Sweden?

For information on Swedish work permits, visit:

  • The Swedish Migration Agency's website (Migrationsverket)

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